Hi and welcome to the Dodgy Brothers website, thanks for having a look. I hope to (somewhat) regularly update you all with the general goings-on of the Bros. and keep you posted on harvests, bottling, releases and events that we’re involved in. Also this is just a good way to give you some insight into what we’re about and what, why and how we do what we do.
My name is Wes, and I make the wines. My two partners (both named Peter) look after the growing, harvesting, and all other things grape related. This is no small feat, and really at the end of the day it’s the quality of the grapes that these fellas provide that is paramount to us bringing you a good bottle of wine.
Currently we’re in the midst of the 2013 harvest. This always a sleepless and stressful time for all those involved. You only get one shot a year to make things work so you need to make it count! Winemakers by nature like to micro-manage so as the harvest progresses and the number of ferments increases the stress level rises and sleep decreases in an exponential fashion. And for the viticulturist, trying to organize harvesting, picking schedules, dealing with ornery growers and know-it-all winemakers (takes one to know one!) and a general lack of sleep (as a large portion of grape harvesting happens at night due to hot daytime temperatures), things can be even tougher!
All that being said though, I still really enjoy this time year. It’s always great as a winemaker to see grapes that you’ve watched ripen all season be harvested. And then the excitement and anticipation of trying to unlock all the potential that rests in those grapes. It’s the great challenge in winemaking, we get to do it every year. I think that’s why we all do what we do. It’s cliché to say “it’s like an artist with a blank canvas” but there is an element of truth to that. Winemaking is art no doubt, but there is a scientific element to it as well that can’t be denied. Finding balance between the two is in my opinion what separates good winemakers from great.
So far the quality of fruit from this year’s harvest looks outstanding. Sugar levels are tending to be elevated, so I think that managing alcohol levels will be the biggest issue facing winemakers this year. However the integrity of the bunches is outstanding and other than being a generally dry season there has been very little pressure on the vines. For those producers who have been patient with their fruit and harvested when the grapes taste ready as opposed to when the laboratory says they’re ready will be rewarded.
As I write this we currently have 2 of our Shiraz blocks picked and fermenting, and our first Grenache block was harvested today. There will be more Shiraz tomorrow and on the weekend.
Once it starts, it comes fast and furious.